Where are the Teaching Opportunities? A Longitudinal Study of Educator Supply and Demand

by Kelly D. Bradley, Shannon O. Sampson, Lingling Ma & Jessica D. Cunningham - December 05, 2006


For almost three decades, the American Association for Employment in Education (AAEE) has conducted an annual survey of higher education institutions preparing teachers. The ongoing goal of AAEE is to address the challenges of matching educational institutions and educational staff. Results demonstrate trends in educator supply and demand to assist pre-service teachers, teacher education programs, and policy makers in preparing for future areas of need.

Purpose/Objective/Research Question/Focus of Study:

Data regarding educator supply and demand, from the years 1999-2004, was analyzed to present long-term trends in the 64 educator fields. Furthermore, the variation of educator supply and demand—within subject area and by geographic region—was investigated.


A selected response survey instrument is mailed annually to approximately 1,270 college and university directors of career services, or deans of teacher education institutions listed in the Higher Education Directory. For the years being studied, 1999-2004, response rates ranged from 40 to 60 percent.

Research Design:

In a self-administered questionnaire, respondents were asked to indicate which education fields were offered at their institution, and then to rate the perceived demand for these education fields on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 representing a perceived “Considerable surplus” and 5 representing a "Considerable shortage” of educators. Regional studies of employers have consistently validated the data provided by representatives from colleges and universities.

Data Collection and Analysis:

To examine trends in educator supply and demand over the years 1999-2004, survey data collected from the AAEE study was analyzed. Data trends were examined, overall and by region, via descriptive analysis and Scheffe’s multiple comparisons tests under each of the 64 educational fields.


Fields in special education, mathematics education, and physics were perceived to have a Considerable shortage for all six years under review. The overall trend indicates the teacher shortage peaked for most of these fields in 2001, declined toward 2003, and tempered in 2004.


A need exists for increased efforts in educator recruitment and retention to address the persisting field-specific shortages. Results demonstrate that the teacher shortage is not as severe as some literature predicted it would be by 2004. With federal guidelines requiring core subject teachers to be certified and demonstrably competent by the 2005-2006 school year, the shortage may be exacerbated. The trend for 2005 and beyond will likely reflect the effects of No Child Left Behind on the supply of educators.

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: December 05, 2006
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 12865, Date Accessed: 6/5/2020 3:16:05 PM

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